Sail Date: April 2019
This cruise did well at improving everything that makes vacations and travelling annoying. Embarkation is quick if you come early, staterooms are cool and comforting, and the architecture and activities onboard make you forget there are ... Read More
This cruise did well at improving everything that makes vacations and travelling annoying. Embarkation is quick if you come early, staterooms are cool and comforting, and the architecture and activities onboard make you forget there are 6500 people. We loved the random nooks of inviting ambiance, like the live Jazz on 4, the Bionic bar, Vintages wine bar, all excellent, and then when we want sun and conversation the Solarium is the perfect luxurious spot. The unique and engaging nature of the whole ship makes it great for all ages. If anything could be improved, it would be the vegetarian options. Or more like option, since you only get one choice wherever you eat except at the buffets. Formal dining and specialty dining vegetarian options are delicious but unimaginative. We loved the casino, the atmosphere is spot on and it's never overcrowded. Also highly recommend springing for the deluxe drinks package and the ocean view stateroom. I wish the all access tour wasnt so expensive and only two time options, I'd love to see how this ship works. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Wanted to be on the largest ship in the world . This ship is especially great for kids ; it’s got everything from ocean surfing to rock climbing walls ; plus the staff really takes care of the little ones. Food is good . I was ... Read More
Wanted to be on the largest ship in the world . This ship is especially great for kids ; it’s got everything from ocean surfing to rock climbing walls ; plus the staff really takes care of the little ones. Food is good . I was very impressed. We had the Suite Class with a big room . It was nice ; however we are under the pool area . Do not get this location. Drop down to the 12 th floor . Too noisy in this room ! Staff is extremely friendly . Ship has all the modern and latest systems on board . Recommend the beverage package , because you get hit for any drink, from water to wine and cocktails. The package will pay off plus you ere not getting hit with a tab every time you order a beverage. Also of course you should choose your excursions carefully, because they are a la cartel too . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Family of 4 (2-14 yr. old teen twin girls, couple early 50's ) living in the Midwest (where it's cold) attempting to recreate the beauty of our previous Spring Break sailing on the Allure. Our overall cruise line history ... Read More
Family of 4 (2-14 yr. old teen twin girls, couple early 50's ) living in the Midwest (where it's cold) attempting to recreate the beauty of our previous Spring Break sailing on the Allure. Our overall cruise line history includes Celebrity, NCL and other RC ships. I have also cruised on Princess and enjoyed it. Trying to figure out if I can be a RC loyalist, but I'm not there yet. The one thing we look forward to is an active cruise. I will start by saying that we had a great vacation experience. Overall the ship offers something for everyone. To have the best experience it is recommended to know what you want to enjoy because there is a lot to pick from and you can easily end up bored, because you didn't make decisions. It has unique art throughout and the ship is very nice and well maintained. Although it's a large ship it didn't feel overly crowded, but there are a lot of folks contained on the ship. The highlights of the trip include; Embarkation, entertainment, MDR for dinner (scheduled My Time Dining), cabin and shore excursions. All of those items get a 10+. Highlights include: Embarkation\Disembarkation: 10 minute embarkation process, no counters. I would absolutely encourage pre-check in online. If a picture is needed they take it with an I-Pad before you proceed to the ship. Disembarking was typical and the port area gets rather congested. I would recommended early or late disembarkation. The exit through customs is done by facial recognition which seemed to make this faster. Cabin: We had 2 adjacent Balcony cabins (4D) the room offers 2 closets and ample storage space. If you are particular about bed location, be sure to ask as some beds are against the sliding glass doors and some are closer to entry way. Also the lights are controlled by having your key card in the reader. The décor is modern and the room is fairly typical. TV is not great. Movies cost over 10.00...for those times you just want to lounge... Entertainment: All shows were exceptional. My kid had to explain HIRO to me...My favorites were Hairspray, Ice Skate 2.0 and Flight. I was only able to join one comedy show in the large theater and one of the comedians was excellent. The one thing I found annoying was the saving of large numbers of seats. Although they have a rule against it, it was often done and annoying. I recommend scheduling in advance, and if not being in line early for those things you didn't schedule. Pay attention to the Cruise COMPASS on your TV or in the hallways as things are added that you may miss if you just look at the printed Cruise Compass delivered to your room. All of the musical acts performing in different venues were great. The one thing I wish was better is that the pool band was hidden in an alcove between the pools so you could hear the music but not really experience vibing with the band. Ship: With this being a fairly new ship, it is in great condition and is maintained well. The bathrooms offer the no touch entry and exit and the restaurants offer sinks to wash your hands vs. just using hand sanitizer. The art throughout is unique and nice. The main promenade is well thought out and identical to other Oasis ships. I tried to understand what was exactly different. The casino has a smoker and non smoker side, but no real separator if that is your concern. I did witness staff removing items from those pool chair savers after prolonged time periods. As with every ship, on sea days with good weather get to the pool before 9 for a good spot. I would want other outside venues other than on the running track floor, the Promenade and the pool deck. The ship celebrated their 1 year anniversary during the sailing. Anniversary lanyards and magnets were provided along with a picture of the crew and had special events along with cake and different foods offered. Now to the opportunities. First off the ship didn't have that fun\happy vibe... lots of people were moving here and there but it more or less seemed like a dead hotel on the water. It was eerily quiet...no laughter buzz... The staff seemed tired, and although responded to requests were not friendly. Everyone seemed as if they were following the script to get the 10 for the post survey review. You rarely saw staff members smiling, or if you passed a staff member in the hallway they didn't greet you or even look you in the eye. This was common. We had a situation where the Bionic Bar didn't quite work as anticipated and the attendant spoke to us as if we were stupid. Annoying..... The food in the buffet was terrible, cold in some instances and very rarely different. While I may not prefer buffets I have not had an issue finding something I could enjoy. I stayed away. The Mexican spot, El Loco Fresh was a nice change and we ate there frequently. Typically we enjoy dining in the MDR for breakfast and lunch as well as dinner, but the breakfast offered buffet and a la carte and the a la carte was the buffet food for the most part. I am accustomed to having a special offering for a la carte and that was not present. One nice thing about the MDR is that they make omelets made to order. Dinner, however was a highlight and we thoroughly enjoyed the service and food. We had 2 Specialty dinners, Hibachi and Wonderland. Hibachi was great due to the chef and Wonderland was different. We enjoyed the food and the experience, but I can cross it off the list and not go back again. Room service and continental breakfast were lacking. The coffee tasted like mud, and I would ask for extra cream and always get 5 creamers...so I stopped ordering. There is an additional charge for room service and I would say only pay it if you absolutely need to something delivered to you personally and cannot or choose not to get up and go to various eateries... Service: Our room cabin Jeremiah was great and attentive and proactive without being in the way. In some of the specialty shops we were not acknowledged so we walked out...the guest services area on the last night of the cruise had their lights off. This was annoying because of course many people were attempting to settle a bill and could not see..also a non-welcoming thing to do, understanding they are 24/7. We had drink packages and bar service was good. Excursions: We had 2, one on St. Marten and one in Nassau. I swore I would never get off the ship in Nassau again, but we were whisked off to a private island and the experience was magnificent. The only downside was that the ports were busy due to Spring Break and you spent a lot of time waiting around, congregating. Spa and Fitness: My husband booked a massage and was hoping that he could use the amenities. He thoroughly enjoyed the service, but they whisked him off so quickly he didn't get to see the amenities. Typically, I would book access or get a Spa room, but this one is not open to the sun so what's the point. The running track is on a lower deck where the gym can be accessed. The teens took advantage of the rock climbing wall, mini golf, shuffle board, ping pong, flow-riders etc. video arcade, water and dry slides. They tried ice skating and said the rink was not groomed making it difficult to skate. Couldn't get into Laser Tag because it conflicted with other planned events. We did the Sushi making class and enjoyed it. Overall, it was another RC experience under our belts. Unless some really great deal comes along I would not sail on this particular ship again. But I'm still partial to RC for the family with NCL running a close tie...Food and service are the tie-breakers on the next ship choice. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This cruise was our second with our two daughters, their husbands, and four grands ages 14,16,17, and 18. Last cruise with them was two years ago on the Liberty. Picked the Symphony because of the new ship and the activities available on ... Read More
This cruise was our second with our two daughters, their husbands, and four grands ages 14,16,17, and 18. Last cruise with them was two years ago on the Liberty. Picked the Symphony because of the new ship and the activities available on the ship. Itinerary was St. Martin, St. Thomas, and Nassau. Kids arranged the port activities with the help of our head waiter who recommended places to go and things to see. Together they did a great. We flew in a day and a half early, rented a 12 passenger van, went to the everglades, took in an air boat ride through the everglades, and had an excellent gater show. Got rested up after our flight from Seattle at the Red Roof Inn by the airport. They were super accommodating and took us to the port. We were at the port a bit early (9:30). Checked our bags and walked right through security and into a huge waiting room in the beautiful new Terminal A. We waited about an hour and were then quickly on the ship. Our rooms were available at 1:00. We had five cabins in a row. Our cabin steward opened the doors on the balconies so we could have a single family balcony. During the cruise, he kept our rooms sparkling. The service was great. They were all great at what they did and very friendly. Met Captain Rob Hempstead who was around the ship and as friendly as the rest of his crew. Our families favorite part of the cruise was dinner. We had a beautiful table for ten in a great spot. Our waiter and assistant waiter were the best ever. As I said earlier, the head waiter was also the greatest, seeing us two or three times each dinner. Food in the dining room was some of the best of our 25 cruises. We especially enjoyed watching our grands trying new and different selections. We were a bit disappointed in in the Windjammer, but enjoyed the Park Cafe. So many choices for food and all were good. Did not try any of the specially venues of which I think there were ten. The entertainment was grand. Got reservations months earlier and went to all of the shows at least once. Loved the ice skating 1977, but liked the second show 2.0 better than the main show 1977. Don't miss it. I also loved the Flight: Dare to Dream. We were somewhat disappointed in the lack of around the ship entertainment. What we heard was excellent just not much of it. Getting off the ship was as easy as getting on. Just be ready for a lot of traffic congestion both before and after the cruise. We had several hour before our flight home so we rented a van and went to the Miami zoo. It was one of the best zoo's I have seen. The giraffes (must have been a dozen) were great! Overall we loved the Symphony for our family. My wife and I usually go Princess, but that would not be as good for four teens. Now we have to wait another 27 days to get on the Ruby Princess. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We have not cruised in over 17 years so we decided to join our cruising friends on the Symphony. The ship is beautiful and clean, after a few days you will figure your way around the 16 decks. We did the specialty restaurants, Hooked, ... Read More
We have not cruised in over 17 years so we decided to join our cruising friends on the Symphony. The ship is beautiful and clean, after a few days you will figure your way around the 16 decks. We did the specialty restaurants, Hooked, 150Central, Jamies and Wonderland, our favorite has to be Wonderland, the food is amazing. We booked the specialty package so you need to go to Main dining when you board and secure your reservations, the employee that was booking us was new so we ended up with no reservations and had to revisit Main Dining the next day so we missed out on Chops.It would be nice if RC would let you book ahead of time but it is a huge cost saver versus booking individually. We did Hairspray and the Comedy Show and they were pretty good, we did get to Hairspray early for good seats, it was wasting 30 mins when you had already secured seats. Pools and hot tubs were well laid out and you could usually find a chair and you had the typical chair hogs but if you found a pool attendant they would remove the items and you were good to sit in the sun. The pool bars were hit or miss, our favorite was the Sports Bar with Stephanie & Tash. Sports pool is nice but pretty much closes down for volleyball everyday at 3 pm, off to find a new spot. We did do one excursion in Roatan, the private island was nice, the water beautiful and you could catch a ride back to the ship every 30 minutes. In Cozumel we grabbed a $17 taxi and spent the day at Paradise Beach, very nice, beach service, great food and clean facilities. We will be back on the Symphony in 2020 for a cruise to St. Kitts and St. Thomas - can't wait! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Our 10th cruise, 4th with RCI. 2 adults (age 50-58), ocean view balcony cabin. Embarkation: super quick, but we got to the port at 10am. They started boarding the ship at 10:30 and we were on the ship at 10:50am getting drinks at the ... Read More
Our 10th cruise, 4th with RCI. 2 adults (age 50-58), ocean view balcony cabin. Embarkation: super quick, but we got to the port at 10am. They started boarding the ship at 10:30 and we were on the ship at 10:50am getting drinks at the tides bar. Disembarkation: We always walk off with our bags. Went down to the Promenade at 6:15am, waited in line for 45 minutes (behind about 100 people already on line). Once they started the line, we went from line to taxi stand outside the terminal in about 10 minutes. We were at the car rental place by 7:25, too bad they didn't open until 8. I have say something about the cleanliness of this ship. All areas of the ship were clean and polished as usual, but the floors in the pool area and solarium area were just plain disgusting. I kept my crocs on the entire time I was in there - I even wore them in the pool and hot tubs - because the floor was just plain gross with drink/food spills, hair, dirt, etc. especially the steps. At first I thought it was from all the people, but it was like that first thing in the morning and I noticed the same "hair wad" on the steps to the hot tub that didn't move the entire 7 days we were on the ship. Ewe! We've been on the big ships including Oasis (May '15) and Allure (Dec. '15). We chose this cruise just for the ship because we love how well RCI handles large crowds, especially on these large ships. On Oasis and Allure, we never felt crowded, it just never felt like there were over 6,000 passengers on the ship. Unfortunately, Symphony's "improvements" simply crowded the open areas that are on Oasis and Allure. These improvements created crowds almost everywhere on the ship, especially in the solarium. On Oasis and Allure, the solarium is so large that at 11am on a sea day, there were still dozens of lounge chairs and by 3pm there were still empty chairs (we like to spend the whole day in there). On Symphony, all the loungers and chairs were taken with personal items by 9am - and the saddest thing is that many of them would not have people in them for hours (some didn't have people until after lunch!). One morning I woke up at 6am. Not wanting to bother the husband, I went to the solarium to read my kindle and ALL the round loungers (with egg-shaped surrounds) already had personal items on them (no people), ALL the round loungers without shades were taken, and more than HALF the regular lounge chairs had personal items on them. I watched those loungers ALL DAY and most of them didn't have people in them until well after lunch. The tiny 3ft pool (16 people max) and the 2 hot tubs were always full of people (except in the early morning and at dinner time). Frequently the little pool had double the max occupancy so it was "standing pool only". Another MAJOR disappointment was the diving show at the back of the ship. We've seen the dive shows on the other ships and it was highlight of our cruises so we couldn't wait to see the new Hiro show. Well, it just plain sucked. It sucked so bad, we wanted to leave. The show had no story at all, just samurai-dressed dancers. Sure the dancers were excellent, but they did the same dance moves to all the songs. The girl flying across the sky above the crowd was really cool - the first time. By the 10th time, it was just "her again?". And divers? Yeah, they dove from the lowest platform about 6 times, and one time from the high dive. That was it! It was a 45 minute dance show, not a dive show. The whole thing could have taken place on the main theater stage. We loved the iSkate show; didn't see any of the other stage shows. The comedians were terrible. We had reservations on the first night and after the show we were glad they both said they did the same routine in every set. Food was ok not great, but make reservations - even if you have "my time dining". The buffet food was mediocre and all the best food for all meals is in the back of the buffet. The new Mexican grill was excellent, very fresh, just get there early because it seems they are only open for a couple of hours for lunch. They do offer breakfast burritos sometimes, and they were good too. We didn't do any of the paid dining restaurants, but we did eat at the sports bar on the Boardwalk and that was good. To be honest: the best food on the ship is from room service. Totally worth the cost for $10 for all you can order. Sorrento's Pizza was much better on Symphony than on the Oasis and Allure a few years ago so I guess they improved the quality because usually the pizza is pretty bad, but this time was very tasty. All the crew members we interacted with were polite and nice. Occasionally there was a grumpy bar tender in the solarium but they were way under staffed. The exercise gym was so crowded at 8am that there wasn't one piece of equipment that didn't have a person on it, including all the free weights - it was wall to wall bodies. It was the smallest gym on any cruise ship we've ever seen. Overall, I would not go again and if I hadn't already booked a cruise on the Harmony for next year before I set sail on this cruise, I would not have chosen another big ship. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
I chose this cruise as an introduction to Royal Caribbean after 2 sailings on Disney and 1 on Holland America. I was looking for a ship with plenty of activities, a good mix of people of all ages and interests, and with an itinerary we ... Read More
I chose this cruise as an introduction to Royal Caribbean after 2 sailings on Disney and 1 on Holland America. I was looking for a ship with plenty of activities, a good mix of people of all ages and interests, and with an itinerary we hadn't yet tried. This sailing checked all of the boxes, so I booked it. We booked a Guarantee Balcony Stateroom, and were assigned to a specific room about 30 days before we sailed. Our room was on Deck 10, all the way aft, which meant I earned at least 10,000 steps every single day. It also meant I could have dessert each night. Embarkation was a breeze! We arrived at around 10:45am, and with a security check (somehow the magnetic hooks triggered the security scan) and a bathroom break, we were on the ship in about 15-20 minutes. So easy! The stateroom was clean and new, and while I had heard the sofa would have a trundle, it did not. This stateroom only slept 3, which was fine but not ideal for us. The shows on this ship were amazing. Best shows I have ever seen on a cruise, for sure. The food in the main dining rooms as great. No complaints! Our serving team was great, and they took excellent care of us. The ports and excursions were great. No complaints. Debarkation was a breeze as well. Facial recognition and self-debarkation had us off the ship and in a taxi in 15 minutes or less. Great cruise! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Pre cruise Our family of three (Me, Hubby and our 16 year old daughter ) flew into Fort Lauderdale March 13th on a red eye flight from Vancouver BC to enjoy Miami and to ensure we don't miss the cruise due to flight delays. Of ... Read More
Pre cruise Our family of three (Me, Hubby and our 16 year old daughter ) flew into Fort Lauderdale March 13th on a red eye flight from Vancouver BC to enjoy Miami and to ensure we don't miss the cruise due to flight delays. Of course it was the same day they announced the grounding of the Max 8 . Luckily it didn't affect our flight so all was well and we checked into the Springhill Suites Doral for one night and moved to the Cadillac Hotel Miami Beach for the second night. Embarkation We took Uber from Miami Beach to Terminal A on Saturday morning around 11am and check in was a breeze. I previously thought our check in for the NCL Bliss was quick in Seattle but RCCL terminal A takes the cake. We completed online check in and uploaded our Seapass picture before the trip . Upon arriving at Terminal A we went up to a RCCL rep with a tablet who scanned the passes on our phone and then it was a quick walk through security and on to the ship . Very very simple and quick . 10 minutes max . Cabin Our cabln was a Central Park view interior cabin. Cabin 9581. It had plenty of room and a cute window seat for people watching. When we made the booking it was actually prices lower than standard interior rooms! I can't say it was private but we enjoyed looking out to central park and the quick access to Park Cafe since we were on deck 9 one deck above Central Park. It was very quiet and our room steward Antonio did an excellent job. Dining We had early seating for dinner (5:30) in the main dining room on level 3. Michael and Barrington were awesome. Although we enjoyed anytime dining with NCL on our last cruise, having a set team serving you is still the best. The food was hit and miss. Most portions were too large which created food waste. For example the chicken marsala consisted of two large pieces of chicken along with sides which was way too much to eat. We tried the Solarium Bistro for dinner and breakfast. It does state reservations are required however the day we went there was still plenty of seating available. For breakfast it was a different story, it was packed and hard to find a seat. We also tried Johnny Rockets for breakfast and it was ok, Park Cafe had a good variety of sandwich options for both breakfast and lunch , Windjammer is standard buffet food. Also hit and miss. We tried the main dining room for lunch and they set up half the restaurant for a la carte seating and half for a buffet. The dining room buffet was a little nicer than Windjammer but less variety. We had the refreshment package and enjoyed having smoothies and fresh orange juice from the Vitality Cafe in the fitness centre/spa, speciality coffees from the Promenade cafe and all the frozen non alcoholic drinks from the bar. It also works for the non alcoholic drinks from the Bionic Bar and bottled water is included. Entertainment We made resevations for Hairspray, Flight, 1977 and Hiro prior to the cruise , Entertainment was good. We loved Hiro the diving/water show and 1977 the ice skating show. Hairspray was meh and we didn't enjoy Flight. There was plenty of seating for all the shows even for those on standby (except Hiro.-which was packed every night it was on). There is a section of the Royal Theatre level 5 reserved for Pinnacle, Diamond members and for Suite passengers. I felt bad for the RCCL members who had to look over this section. They had to explain over and over again that it was reserved and many didn't take it well. The Hiro cast will also do a separate show called Aquanation. No reservations fot this as it was first come first serve . It was cancelled due to weather on the first day but we were able to catch it the next day when it was much calmer. We also tried the Ultimate Abyss which was fast and fun, Be sure to wear a top that covers your shoulders, they will not let you on if you are wearing a tank top and for good reason. Slide burns are NOT fun. I completely forgot to reserve laser tag on day 1 and when I tried to book it on day 2 , there was nothing left. Luckily I tried everyday and got a reservation for day 5. I think they opened up more spots and only allowed people to make one reservation because when I tried to reserve a second spot it said I was not eligible. I did notice that since laser tag was popular and it took up Studio B which is the ice rink, it meant no open ice skating sessions like our previous cruise on the Allure and Independence. The pool deck was always full and on sea days it was impossible to get a chair after 11am. The Solarium was busy but not as busy as I expected. It was nice but way too warm for me. Being outside was nicer with the sun and a breeze. We made a committment to go to the gym on this cruise which we did and it was pretty empty! The equipment was well maintained and clean. The jogging/ walking track is located on deck 5 and we would always walk a few laps after dinner. St Kitts We took the taxi to South Friars Bay as we had made reservations at the Carambola Beach Club. It was $10 / chair and $10 / umbrella. $4 per person taxi ride if four or more people or $16 one way if less than four . It's a nice beach and we had amazing weather. I was considering the Marriot resort which offers a day pass for $35 per person however they informed me the prices were higher due to spring break so I went to Carambola instead. St. Thomas We decided to take the taxi to Emerald Beach which was closest to the port . $4 /person taxi ride each way. The beach is small and not as nice as St. Kitts but the weather was great and it was close to port. It was $25 for two chair and an umbrella and only sold as a set, We needed one more chair and it was $8 but it was set back from the water and not allowed to be moved closer to the umbrella. Nassau We didn't hit the beach this time because it was a short port day so we walked into town and just did the Queens staircase. and walked up to look at the Fort. We paid the $10 fee for the three of us to go into the Fort and when we got there , the guide gave us a five minute description of the history of the Fort and pointed out some landmarks and asked for a tip ? and stood around until we gave him something. So just be aware of that if you decide to go. Disembarkation Very quick. We took our own luggage and was through security quite quickly. There was a line for Canadian passports and US citizens using brith certificate, We have gone through other ports and the Canadian passport line was always the slowest. Once we got outside (around 9am) it was a zoo to get taxi/uber etc. Our uber driver took over 15mins to get to us so if allow extra time if you plan on getting uber/lift. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I was very excited to go on the Symphony of the Seas. This was my eighth cruise and I had been on a few Royal Caribbean ships before. Only my sister and I went on this cruise. Since I hadn’t been on a cruise in years I was interested to ... Read More
I was very excited to go on the Symphony of the Seas. This was my eighth cruise and I had been on a few Royal Caribbean ships before. Only my sister and I went on this cruise. Since I hadn’t been on a cruise in years I was interested to see what had changed on RC ships. This ship was almost identical to the Oasis, except for some new additions such as the specialty restaurants and the Ultimate Abyss dry slide. The Good: -Nice stateroom (balcony view) -Decks clean and well-maintained -All of the staff, except for one crew member who I will soon get to, were friendly and always greeted guests -Ice Shows -Hairspray -Aqua Show -Cruise Director Simeon -The Love and Marriage Game show (especially because of the awesome cruise director) -Solarium (very relaxing!) -Ports of Call (Bahamas, Costa Maya, Roatan, and Cozumel) -Boardwalk -Central Park and Park Cafe -Main Dining room experience including great food and excellent wait staff -Dry Slide (fun despite receiving a burn on my left thigh. I followed the instructor’s directions as best I could but I still got burned. I recommend wearing pants and not shorts!) The Bad: -Specialty restaurants ultra expensive -Reservations for shows (I’m not sure how new this is but it caused unnecessary stress) -Soda being included in some locations on the ship but not others (why is the price of soda included in Sorrento’s but not the main dining room?) -Flight (this show was at times cringe-worthy. Great concept, but not executed that well) -The price of Voom, the wifi package (my cruise was during the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash. When I heard about the crash, I asked the Voom worker if I could simply find out if my flight to go home was cancelled but I was told I had to purchase wifi.) -A very small bag of popcorn being $2 at shows. Seriously? -Tablets for Bingo. You still have the option of playing Bingo on paper but it’s hard to compete with someone who has 36 cards on their tablet and they don’t have to do anything other than say “Bingo” when their tablet says they won. It just never felt like a fair playing field which took away a lot of the fun -Self-serve ice cream on pool deck was watery and not firm -Windjammer food not always up to par -The yellow and green water slide. This is the one shaped like a funnel cone. Everyone stops sliding and gets stuck once they’re in the funnel cone part of the slide, and they have to inch their way into the slide tunnel so that they aren’t just sitting in the middle of the funnel cone. This happens to 40 lb kids and 150 lb adults. Seems like an engineering issue! Doesn’t happen at similar slides in other water parks. The Ugly: I have never seen such blatant unprofessionalism before I met our stateroom attendant. It all started on the second night of the cruise when my sister and I were getting ready in our room for Formal Night. The TV was on and I was doing my hair. We thought that we heard some knocking and I asked my sister, did someone knock? Suddenly, the door flew open and the stateroom attendant was standing in the doorway facing me as I stood there half-naked with only a shirt on. He did not immediately close the door. I had to say CLOSE THE DOOR and he then left and shut the door. A simple “sorry” would have sufficed. As a medical professional, I have accidentally opened the door on people at inopportune moments and I understand that it happens. HOWEVER, the stateroom attendant did not just apologize. Immediately after he shut the door he began knocking on the door demanding that I come out into the hallway. I told him through the door that I was getting dressed and I was not going to come speak with him in the hallway. He then began shouting saying I NEEDED to come outside. I said that I was not going to come outside. I asked him “why?” through the door and he said “It’ll only take a minute!!” He would not tell us why I physically had to come speak with him. Then, the room attendant called our stateroom phone. My sister picked up the phone and he began YELLING at her saying that we must open the door when he knocks on it, and that we are supposed to use our “do not disturb” magnet if we don’t want anyone entering. He was basically saying that him opening the door on us was all our fault, and he was enraged. This was the second day of the cruise and we honestly had not even noticed that we had this magnet to use. My sister and I never once argued back, we kept trying to diffuse the situation by responding “Ok, we understand, thank you” but he repeatedly yelled through the phone repeating himself until he finally just hung up. No apology received. I told my sister that I wanted to report our room attendant to Guest Services immediately but she was adamant that we give him a second chance especially since we did not want to receive any kind of retribution. The man clearly had anger issues. We did not report him and that turned out to be a mistake. On the fifth morning of the cruise, we received a phone call at about 9:45 AM in our stateroom on a day at sea that woke us up. Over the phone, an unknown caller said “Good morning, wakey wakey!!” and hung up. This disrupted our sleep but it was especially upsetting for my sister because she has a sleep disorder. My sister and I first thought that the call had been from our room attendant because he had called our room a few times before to see if we needed anything. We always thought this was strange and overbearing because no other room attendant has repeatedly called us on any other ships we have been on. Well, we saw our room attendant in the hallway when we exited our room that morning. My sister explained to him what had happened and simply asked him if he was the one who made that call. He went berserk and immediately began shouting at both of us. He was very defensive and showed us his phone saying “See, I made no call to you!” He then said CHECK THE CALLER ID ON YOUR PHONE. He also called his supervisor in front of us to report the unknown call we received. My sister and I took a few steps out of the hallway and back into our room to look at our phone for caller ID. Before we knew it, the room attendant was STANDING IN OUR ROOM blocking the door and shouting at us, saying that he was not the one who called us. He also brought up the situation from Day 2 of the cruise. This was scary and intimidating. Also, there is no caller ID on the room phones so I’m not sure why he told us to look at our caller ID. The room attendant then made this statement in a threatening tone, “By the way, I’ll have to see what I need to do about whatever dye you’re putting in the toilet! None of my cleaning solution can get it out. I’ll have to see what I need to do about that!!” I said, “we haven’t put anything in the toilet, what dye are you referring to?” and he just stormed out. It almost seemed like he made this statement as if to say, if you report me to guest services I have something on you too. He also seemed to be trying to embarrass us with this statement. This room attendant was on a power trip, the likes of which I have never seen before. This man was ageist and sexist. He clearly felt like he could act in this obscene manner because we were two 20-something year old girls and he was a 40-something year old man. He shouted at us as if we were brat kids, when we are well-behaved grown women. I once heard another guest who was an older woman speaking highly of him. Of course he is respectful to older adults. I know he would not have treated an older man how he treated us. After this second dramatic event, I went to Guest Services and explained everything that had happened. The response we received was professional and we had a different room attendant for the final two days, although we still had to see this man in the hallway outside our room. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We went with several friends on Spring Break and were dreading it mainly because of the size of the ship and having so many children aboard and our last experience on a mega ship that was a disaster. This turned out to be one of our ... Read More
We went with several friends on Spring Break and were dreading it mainly because of the size of the ship and having so many children aboard and our last experience on a mega ship that was a disaster. This turned out to be one of our best trips ever...our 20th cruise. We LOVED them ship! I can hardly believe we never once felt crowded anywhere. It was incredibly laid out well and had an insane amount of entertainment for everyone. Did not even make it to half of the entertainment. RC is known for their world-class shows and this was not a disappointment. Ice Skating was world-class and wonderful costumes and staff had tons of energy. The Hiro Dive Show was spectacular. Even the marriage show in the theatre was a blast and funny. The pools were never super crowded and reasonably easy to find a chair. The only big complaint is they closed the second floor in the solarium one day for wind because they were worried about some decorative metal pieces. It was a huge huge disruption and made several people mad and frustrated. Take down the sculptures if you are so worried, because the wind was not that bad at all. The Solarium is beautiful and adults only and we had plenty of sun. Well laid out. ALL of the staff was very very helpful and kind everywhere. In particular, Roween in the cosmetics/perfume area had the most delightful personality and although I bought several perfumes, I never ever felt pushed. She was fun and helpful. Loved seeing her several times just because she was such a bright light. They however, did not offer any boutique shopping on the ship for clothing and that was a huge surprise and disappointment. All of us gals, were so taken back and they need to re-think this. You have a captive audience and also women love to be resort wear on vacation...what gives? Biggest dissappointment was the food in the evenings. Very sub-par from other ships like Celebrity and Holland and some other ships. Our entire group was very dissatisfied with the meals. Over cooked, undercooked, no flavor, too much fat, etc. Also our particular server was poorly trained and we did complain on the second night and Tatyana stepped in to remedy many of our concerns which we appreciated greatly. They need to be trained better as service was fast, not personal and for example, it took him three nights to offer fresh-ground pepper before we even knew he had any. One night one of the pepper shakers had no pepper and the butter dishes were empty. Cruise Director was hysterical and super entertaining which made it fun. Everything was extremely cleaned and the cabin had amazing storage. It was such a great cruise! It went by way too fast. GREAT employees serving the guests! Read Less
Symphony of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 5.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0

Find a Symphony of the Seas Cruise

Email me when prices drop